Jumba, a technology company based in Kenya that specialises in streamlining the purchase and supply of construction materials, has successfully raised $4.5 million in its seed round. The platform offers hardware stores the opportunity to restock, while also providing real estate developers with the ability to access the necessary supplies for their projects.
Leading investors in this funding round include Enza Capital, LocalGlobe, Foundamental, Seedstars International Ventures, SpeedInvest, Logos Ventures, Alumni Angel Network, and First Check Africa. Last year, LocalGlobe and Enza Capital led Jumba’s $1 million pre-seed round.
Kagure Wamunyu, the company’s co-founder and CEO, revealed to TechCrunch that Jumba, which currently serves 60% of Kenya’s 47 counties, intends to expand its operations within the country to address the escalating demand for construction materials.
According to the Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa, Kenya requires 250,000 new homes annually, but only 50,000 are built each year, resulting in an 80% yearly housing deficit. This expansion plans by Jumba would assist in resolving the housing problems in the East African nation.
Kagure stated that they are growing very fast, and their primary obstacle has always been dealing with demand that surpasses their capacity to satisfy. Jumba is seeking to end the restlessness of retailers via short-term financing backed by banking partners, as well as helping developers by providing significant credit.
“With our B2B marketplace our vision still remains verticalization in construction, and solving the problems in the sector. Kenya will remain our core market, the opportunity is massive here. We plan to scale in this market to acquire more customers before we explore the next market,” she said.
“Most of our customers are in counties beyond the capital, Nairobi, and the reason is that manufacturing is centralized in Nairobi, but customers are located throughout the country, and that is where we come in because we help with distribution,” she added.
Jumba’s customers use the company’s web platform to access products while the company’s sales representatives in various counties assist with advertising, referrals, and other tasks. At the same time, Jumba negotiates lower prices (plus their markup) with producers. This whole process makes it easier for retailers and developers to locate construction materials in a common marketplace, lowering the difficulty of dealing with numerous suppliers.
“Ours is a one stop shop, we manage the sourcing, and logistics headache. By using our platform, they also have access to their documents and invoices, for them to reconcile,” said Wamunyu, a civil engineer and contractor.
“We run in-house logistics as one of the ways we create efficiencies to deliver for people in a way that is not so expensive for them to access goods.”